the sprite tv commercial airing locally in the philippines last december may be confusing to some, knowing there was an indian version of it (click here to watch it). sometimes when a company’s tvc from some other region becomes successful, clients either allow that tvc to air in other territories or produce a similar ad with local talents and reflecting local culture. this sprite commercial is a mixture of both.
the gorgeous teacher, chalo apni chaal, from the original is clearly indian, with her sari costume, and the scene set in some church with vaulted doorways and stone walls. the reverse shot of the guys can pass off for the pinoy tv audience, though they are not necessarily filipino looking. we only needed to replace the shots of the teacher then.
somewhere in the series of meetings with creative heads, it was decided we avoid situating our version in a church. i tried to find a non-sectarian location that would tie up to the high-ceiling space and big doorways of the boys’ reverse shots (and maybe nobody will notice the left side of the shot that showed the painted glass windows). i thought a backroom of some auditorium or the side of a stage could nicely pair it up without getting too left field. cinematic license if you must. some groups do use backstage areas for music rehearsals or hold workshops where music equipment are kept.
my initial inspiration for the set design was the westminster abbey in the da vinci code, which actually used the interiors of the lincoln cathedral in the movie. so i was putting the church feel and merging it with the backgstage look. sketched out the set design on my ipad for presentation.
eventually the set design was revised to look like this (with photos of instruments scattered all over the set because i was trying to build less flats (panels) and install stage curtains on the right for illusion of depth. id have the rolling scaff as foreground as well. agency wanted me to add some filipino string instruments in the background so i added hegulungs (or kudyapi, depends on who you ask).
refining my paper app drawing of the set design with real-world measurements by going the google sketchup route by the time we started construction. this became the color guide as well for my painters. further reduced the number of flats in this version, thereby cutting my construction costs further down. i also utilized the actual look of the studio if ever anything would be “peeking” beyond my built set.
here’s the finished set, dressed up and lit. head carpenter (setman) is the famous abrio. on the guitars behind the drum set is cinematographer odie flores.
we cast patricia tumulak, a pageant beauty currently groomed for binibining pilipinas, as the teacher. i hope she makes it to the top. more stills from the shoot
production house: filmex
director: ianne co
cinematographer: odie flores
production design: benjamin padero
wardrobe stylist: carlo tabije
assistant director: kristi gallaga